Category Archives: Northeast Metro

We dine well at a proper distance on Selena’s patio

I’ve never been tempted to sample fugu, the Japanese pufferfish whose internal organs are filled with poison so powerful that even a speck left in your sashimi by a careless chef can drop you dead after a few horrifying hours of pain. Plenty of Japanese gourmands will pay upwards of $200 for a fugu meal, but not me.

Why bring this up? Because the idea of sitting down for a meal at a local restaurant during this pandemic felt way too much like bellying up to a fugu bar. I needed to think it over before sitting down to something that’s sounds like fun but that could kill you.

And yet we did it anyway, settling in on the pretty, shady and very properly distanced patio at Selena’s at Willow Lake Tavern this week. We had a good meal and a good time, too, albeit against a backdrop of nervous unease perhaps similar to the emotions that fugu aficionados must feel. Continue reading We dine well at a proper distance on Selena’s patio

Jasmine Bistro impresses with Chinese regional flavors

I still vividly remember the excitement of my first tastes of Sichuan cuisine. We had to travel to New York City, San Francisco or Chicago to get such goodies back in the late ‘70s, but Sichuan, aka Szechwan, fare did get to Louisville finally, and for a decade or two, these spicy regional cuisines were among the city’s most popular dining options. Continue reading Jasmine Bistro impresses with Chinese regional flavors

More biscuits? Brunch at Gracious Plenty

Speaking of biscuits, we stopped by Gracious Plenty’s Prospect location on a Saturday recently with our friend Ann, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover its weekend-only brunch menu. Continue reading More biscuits? Brunch at Gracious Plenty

The 502 Bar & Bistro, a jewel in Norton Commons

For any chef, an invitation to come cook at James Beard House in New York City is an honor devoutly to be wished. To get there before turning 30 marks a young chef as a rising culinary young gun. Now meet Louisville’s Chef Ming Pu, 29-year-old executive chef at The 502 Bar & Bistro: This king of the kitchen is heading for Beard House this coming Tuesday, July 16, for his third visit in the past two years. Continue reading The 502 Bar & Bistro, a jewel in Norton Commons

El Mariachi is so good that even the chips excel

Let me tell you why I love El Mariachi so hard: Even the chips and salsa that drop on your table the moment you take a seat are exceptional. These thick, deeply corn-flavored treats, fashioned on the premises from fresh-made tortillas, are positively addictive. They’re so crunchy that I had to look twice to persuade myself that they weren’t lightly breaded before they were fried.

Yes, the salsa is first-rate, too, a finely mashed reddish-brown puree of red chiles, tomatoes, and herbs, just spicy enough. But those chips? Perhaps the best I ever ate, I really could make a meal of them, if that didn’t involve missing out on the rest of the menu. But I can’t do that. It’s too good to skip. Continue reading El Mariachi is so good that even the chips excel